“I’m really excited to be heading to my first Olympics. It is something I’ve always wanted to accomplish, and it is crazy that it is finally here,” said Katherine Stewart-Jones, Canadian cross-country skier. I read these words on the Canadian Olympic website, and I could feel her anticipation and excitement for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The opening of the event is just two weeks away, and Beijing is ready to welcome athletes from Canada and around the world.
The Olympics is all about competition and collaboration. Achieving shared success is never easy, but despite the tough situation presented by COVID-19, and in spite of many other international challenges, Beijing is ready to welcome the world for the Olympic Winter Games. These Winter Games, in my opinion, are a chance to rebuild bridges. China is ready to welcome the world, and as we enter the Year of the Tiger, China will continue to open up to the world.
Competition and collaboration isn’t just beneficial to Canada and China – it’s also good for the world. In September 2019, during a very unique period in the Canada-China relationship, I was appointed Chinese ambassador to Canada. During my stay in Canada, I have not only witnessed the results of decades of close collaboration between Canada and China, but I have also come to realize the importance and the complexity of the relationship.
The Olympics is a unique opportunity to find ways to build bridges despite a complex environment. The past few years have been a tough time for everyone around the world. But the Olympics is a chance to come together to compete, and find new ways to collaborate. Beijing has made full use of the Olympic legacy of 2008, and all venues are powered with 100% green energy. Advanced technology will make the Winter Olympics smarter, with hundreds of robots to undertake missions including catering, delivery, guidance, disinfection and waste removal. We are looking forward to welcoming Canadian athletes to these incredible venues.
I hope Canada and China can continue our long tradition of working together to make the world a better place. Over the past three years, the Canada-China relationship has fallen to a low point because of a number of individual factors. Not long ago, through the hard work of both sides, we solved those problems, which created a window of opportunity for Canada-China relations. I have noticed that many respected and insightful individuals have called for both Canada and China to build back their previous strong relationship as quickly as possible. Of course, there are also other voices as well.
Canada and China have many common values and common understandings. Both Canada and China resolutely support multilateralism and free trade, and both countries are playing important roles pushing for the world to deal with climate change. Both Canada and China speak common languages when it comes to subjects like COVID-19, sustainable development, environmental protection and clean energy.
The relationship between Canada and China has enormous potential and great prospects for the future. I think both our countries can contribute positive answers to answer these important questions. Canada and China should continue to promote mutual respect, treat each other as equals and look ahead to a brighter future where we can communicate more, focus on co-operation and deal with disagreements in a constructive manner. That’s how we can improve relations between Canada and China quickly.
China is ready. And we are eagerly waiting to warmly welcome athletes from Canada and around the world. Good luck to all the participating athletes at Beijing 2022, and all the best to everyone in the Year of the Tiger.
Cong Peiwu is China’s ambassador to Canada.